Nigerians are desperate for work, with official statistics putting the number of unemployed at nearly 41 million of the 170 million population. Unemployment among young people aged under-24 is even higher — 38 percent according to official statistics and nearer 80 percent, according to the World Bank.
The Education Rights Campaign blamed inviting more applicants than centers could accommodate and not providing enough security. The campaign, which called for Moro to be fired, gave the example of Abuja National Stadium, which has a capacity for 60,000. It said 65,000 applicants were invited and seven people died. The other deaths took place in Minna, Port Harcourt, Dutse and Benin City.
Applicants said they each paid 1,000 naira (about $6) — apparently for the right to write tests on Saturday at the application centers. The Education Rights Campaign said it was scandalous that the government had collected about $3 million from applicants. It said it was unconscionable that the government was ‘‘preying on the misery of hapless Nigerian youths, especially graduates who suffer years without gainful employment.’’